If you’ve seen a single episode of “Friends,” you’ll likely recognize the fact that it doesn’t exactly feature people of color. Given that the show takes place in New York City, that’s pretty inexcusable. But predominately White shows in diverse cities were a thing in the nineties. But that’s not the only issue with “Friends.” There’s also the fact that the whole concept was stolen from “Living Single,” cast with all White people and then White people spent tons more money in its marketing to make it even more successful.
The cast of “Living Single” has spoken about this since the show was on the air, but the cast of “Friends” seem to be under the impression that “Living Single” never existed at all. And if you think I’m wrong, you need look no further than David Schwimmer’s recent comments in The Guardian.
Schwimmer, who played Ross in the series, spoke about the lack of diversity on the show and painted himself as some type of hero.
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends. But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part. It’s interesting also how the show handled the Judaism of the characters…
I’m very aware of my own privilege as a heterosexual white male whose parents were able to pay for a private education for me. I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility to give back and to call things out if I see an abuse of power.”
Poor tink. Schwimmer isn’t as aware as he thinks he is. There was already a “Black Friends” in fact, “Friends,” is the White “Living Single.”
And that’s fact.
As Erika Alexander revealed during her interview with “The Breakfast Club,” not only was “Living Single” developed years in advance, the name for “Friends” was taken from the development stage of the show.
She said, “It was. The original name for “Living Single” was “My Girls” but it didn’t test well so they came up with some other names. “Living Single” and “Friends” were some of the names presented. Obviously, they chose one and the other went to another show, also produced by Warner Bros.”
Warner Brothers, the same company that produced “Living Single,” simply invested more money into “Friends,” and the rest is history.
Alexander heard of Schwimmer’s comments and shared her opinion about his thoughts about an “All Black Friends.”
In response to Schwimmer’s comments, Black folk on Twitter have been speaking about the impact of “Living Single.”